All is not well in the Burger King Kingdom. The problem: a new $1 double cheeseburger promotion that has franchisees hotter than a flame-broiled Whopper. Burger King franchisees say they are getting royally burned on the deal and have sued the company in hopes of ending the promotion. The $1 burgers are designed to drive recession-hammered consumers into the restaurants. But franchisees say it costs them at least $1.10 to make the burgers, and they’re tired of selling them at a loss. Burger King, however, says the litigation has no merit and that the company has all the right to force franchise owners to participate in the “value menu” promotion. The question: Will franchisees continue to follow the royal edict, or will there be bloodshed in the kingdom? We’ve always loved a good beheading.
Man of the hour. Maybe Burger King franchisees should be directing their rage at Stuart Frankel. He’s the unassuming Subway franchise owner who pioneered the $5 footlong promotion, which is largely credited with igniting the latest round of extreme price-slashing in the fast-food world. Frankel owned just two small Subway shops in Miami when, on his own initiative, he decided to cut prices to spur weekend sales. A few other franchisees in the area heard about Frankel’s promotion and they tried it too. The promotion was so successful that the stores literally ran out of bread and meat. Frankel then took the idea to Subway corporate, which eventually transformed it into a national campaign, according to this article in BusinessWeek. The rest, as they say, is history. That’s the kind of feel good story Burger King is trying to sell it franchise owners. But, clearly, they’re not buying it.
Wine of the times. It’s your choice. You can wash down your microwave burrito with a cherry Slurpee. Or you can show a little class and polish it off with some fine 7-Eleven wine. That’s right, America’s largest convenience store is now in the vino business. It is hawking two California wines, a chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, that retail for $3.99. Sold under the Yosemite Road brand name, the bargain wines can be found sandwiched between 7-Eleven staples like day-old hoagies and 40-ouncers of Olde English. And no, they don’t come with free refills.